Archive for the 'bicycle industry' Category

Friday: It’s here, and Urban Velo is awesome.


Friday is finally here.  This week has been a busy one, but it’s almost over.  I’ll be back Monday and will do my best to find more interesting things to write about.  In the meantime, however, the good people at Urban Velo have got what you need.  If you, like me, are not able to attend the NAHBS, keep your eye on Urban Velo because they always post fantastic pictures.  Judging from the first batch, this will be a drool-filled weekend.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the weekend.


Local Trade School Reinvents Wheel


Yale University has gone off the rails.  First, they issue perhaps the campiest recruitment video in the entire world.  And now, they have literally reinvented the wheel.  This time, no spokes.

Want to ride my bottle opener?

Amazingly, the spokeless rear wheel is only half of the wonder this bike provides.  Personally, I’m more concerned about what Paul Bunyan is going to do when he realizes that the derailleur hanger is missing from his gigantic Diamondback.

Giant proto-hipster?

In conclusion, I’d suggest that the people of Yale continually look over their shoulders for a fast-approaching mythical giant riding a recently-converted Diamondback fixed gear.  I bet Harvard students don’t have that problem. Of course, as you will notice, they follow cycling conventions to the letter: both wheels are perfectly spoked.

Harvard education = don't bend the rules.

Although, I’d hazard a guess that this guy has something up his sleeve:

Don't trust him.

In (a second) conclusion, heed Mulder’s warnings and trust no one.  Wow.  This post is an incoherent rambling mess.  Is it Friday yet?

Advice for Apparel Companies

Go fast.

Here’s a pretty sweet t-shirt from Howies, which is a great British clothing company.  It seems like every day a new urban cycling company is launched somewhere in North America.  For the most part, these companies are making pretty cool t-shirts. Here’s an example:

Simple. Effective.

Zlog’s t-shirts are popular.  Everyone likes catchy slogans that combine encouragement with veiled threats. And, at $26 (US), this is a good deal.  So, what’s wrong?  Well, the problem is that most urban cycling apparel companies (especially those focused on t-shirts) order their clothes in bulk from a manufacturer.  Then they design a cool logo and silk screen it on.

Some of these shirts are poly-cotton blend, some are 100% cotton, and therein lies the problem.  Cotton is one of the worst materials to ride in.  If you, or someone you know, wants to design cycling t-shirts, please do everyone a favour and use merino wool.  Yes, this will make the shirts more expensive.  But they will last for ages, they will feel fantastic, and they won’t turn into a sweaty, clingy (and smelly) rag after 20 minutes of riding.

Howies is doing its part to lead the way, offering its trademark “Howies” t-shirt in merino wool:

Feels good. Looks good. Costs a fortune.

At £50, this shirt is way too expensive.  But, all Howies clothing is too expensive.  Outlier’s got a black merino wool t-shirt for $75.  Mountain Equipment Co-op has them for $44.  Merino is an expensive material, but its increasing popularity will undoubtedly lower its price.  Hopefully American Apparel will start carrying it.  Then anyone with a silk screen kit and a love for bikes can make t-shirts that actually feel good when worn for cycling.

April 11th is Coming

If you’ve never seen A Sunday in Hell, be sure to watch it in the next two months.  Paris-Roubaix, a classic of the Classics, is just a couple of months away.  Tom Boonen, sponsored by Quickstep and fuelled by cocaine, won last year.

This is not cyclocross.

For a bunch of great photos from last year’s race, go here. While the riders kill themselves on pavé in the quest of getting their name on a plaque in the showers, I’ll be taking it all in on whatever crappy live stream I can find for free.

Not too shabby.

I’m personally hoping that they run the Montreal ProTour race through Old Montreal for a lap or two.  Just for kicks.

Classic Track: Gordon Singleton Loss (1982)

Yesterday (or maybe a few days ago — my recent relocation has cut a hole in the space/time continuum), Urban Velo posted the above video.  Their intention was to bring attention to Koichi Nakano, but I thought a repost here (with a focus on Singleton) might boost the Canadian angle.

Gordon Singleton is pretty much the coolest person ever.  He has a wikipedia entry, but only in French.  Eschewing English is the internet equivalent of scoffing at fixed-gear bikes with a front brake.  Moreover,  not only was he racing track before most current fixé riders were born, but he also graced the cover of what is arguably the most awesome magazine ever:

Nothin'. What's up with you?

He earned this cover after becoming the first Canadian ever to win a Word Championship.  True to his roots, Singleton is still in Niagara Falls.  I’m not sure if he sprints from winery to winery during Sunday rides through Niagara-on-the-Lake (the Falls’ classy cousin), but he could.  And it would be awesome.

Winter Moves

I spent the weekend doing the most horrible of horrible tasks: moving.  I relocated from NDG to the Plateau, which is the equivalent of moving from Mommy and Me Yoga to a sweaty basement party.  Needless to say, I think I’ll be much happier here.  As a few of us sat around at the end of the move and discussed the logistics of carrying heavy loads on bicycles (which we did not do, what with it being winter in Montreal), I was reminded of this brave soul:

Now that's a trailer.

Like most cities vying for the coveted “most bicycle friendly” label, Montreal has a few hearty movers getting it done by bicycle.  Déménagement Myette does smaller moves during the spring and summer, which is a pretty great way to get around.  From the looks of it, fridges, stoves, and queen size mattresses are fair game.

I think by law every resident of Quebec must own at least one Divinci.

I’ve never moved anything this large by bicycle before, but they seem to know what they’re doing.  That said, moments after this picture everything could have gone to hell, for all I know.  Yet, if I ever need a fridge hauled over the mountain, I just might give these guys a call.

I trust that has been made aware of this development.

Bike Snob NYC: The Book

More famous. Still anonymous.

In an era when every douche with a tumblr blog aspires to a book deal, it’s great when someone with talent rises from obscurity and anonymity to enjoy quasi-celebrity and anonymity.  This April, Chronicle Books will release Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling. This is one of those books that haters & lovers will read.  Snobby is at the epicentre of contemporary bicycle discourse (I’d say “culture” but even he hates that term now).  He’s the most read, most cited, and arguably the best-by-far bicycle blogger out there.

Here’s the blurb for Bike Snob:

Bike Snob — Cycling is exploding—in a good way. Urbanites everywhere, from ironic hipsters to earth-conscious commuters, are taking to the bike like aquatic mammals to water. BikeSnobNYC—cycling’s most prolific, well-known, hilarious, and anonymous blogger—brings a fresh and humorous perspective to the most important vehicle to hit personal transportation since the horse. Bike Snob treats readers to a laugh-out-loud rant and rave about the world of bikes and their riders, and offers a unique look at the ins and outs of cycling, from its history and hallmarks to its wide range of bizarre practitioners. Throughout, the author lampoons the missteps, pretensions, and absurdities of bike culture while maintaining a contagious enthusiasm for cycling itself. Bike Snob is an essential volume for anyone who knows, is, or wants to become a cyclist.

We now have another reason to pine for Spring.  Along with cleared streets and warmer days (especially for those of us living above the 49th), we can enjoy 208 pages of Snobby goodness.  If his three-year blog activity is any indication, it will be a good – and merciless – read.

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